The Brown band used an unusual formation during halftime of the Harvard-Brown game.
The artistic folk aren’t normally the kind to make a big splash at a football game.
But at Friday night’s football game, a pair of on-field performances caught the attention of the 18,565 in attendance.
Entertainment during pauses in games has been around almost as long as the sports themselves. Still, the Harvard Crimson Dance Team may have taken its mandate to entertain a little too far. The troupe came on at the end of the first quarter, but as the Crimson and Brown made their way back onto the field, the dancers didn’t move.
And for a solid 30 seconds, the dancers and the football players shared the gridiron, much to the confusion of the fans and apparent bewilderment of the referees.
The stranger performance of the night came from Brown’s band at halftime. It started just like any other band performance—unfamiliar fight songs, two-year-old cultural references—when it took a rather peculiar turn.
They arranged themselves like, well, what looked like a male sex organ that spanned most of the length of the field. I’m not sure if they meant to give Harvard the shaft.
So, without further ado, readers can choose their cheap one-liner about the picture from the following options:
1. It definitely looked smaller than when they practiced. Must’ve been cold.
2. 25-second routine? That’s about right.
3. Insert your own joke based on the fact that the name of the school is, hilariously, Brown.
It was an exciting game, and it was much tighter throughout the contest than the final score indicates. But there really is nothing quite like a little fifth-grade humor to make a rainy football Friday game that much better.
Harvard’s Friday home opener against Brown is one of two main Ivy attractions in the next few days. Last year, the Bears took the Ancient Eight opener against the Crimson, 29-14, on their home field. This year, Harvard does not want to repeat last season’s less-than-stellar start. As of now, the Crimson has never lost a night game at home. They hope to continue this streak on Friday.
Here's who to look out for during this week’s contests:
Brown: The Bears’ senior quarterback, Kyle Newhall-Caballaro, proved that individuals could make a comeback. After missing most of last season due to injury, Newhall-Caballero had an impressive return outing last week, as he went 22-37 for a total of 292 yards as well as three touchdowns. If his success continues this week agaisnt the Crimson, Brown’s season will definitely be on the rise.
Harvard: If the Crimson wants to handle the Bears, senior quarterback Collier Winters must have a big impact on the game. Against Holy Cross, Winters passed for 265 yards and two touchdowns, but deuces were wild and he also had two interceptions. This summer, Winters won the “Air it Out” competition at Peyton Manning’s Passing Academy, beating both collegiate and professional athletes. He is going to need to repeat that accuracy this weekend and connect with teammates in order to beat Newhall-Cabellaro head-to-head.
Former Crimson wideout Mike Cook '10 is playing for the Herlev Rebels in Denmark this season—one of a number of Crimson football alums continuing their careers around the world.
The call of the football field has kept life in a cubicle at bay for a few recent Harvard graduates.
While some, like Collin Zych ’11—who made it all the way to the Dallas Cowboys' final cut—had their pro dreams recently put on hold, a few others have taken up pro careers at varying levels around the world.
Former Crimson offensive guard Brent Osborne ’11 has been working out with the Seattle Seahawks’ practice squad for the 2011 season. After initially being cut in training camp, Osborne was recently resigned by the Seahawks.
The seven-man practice squad of an NFL team is essentially a scout team that runs plays for the starters to practice against. For example, Osborne and his offensive teammates prep the Seattle defense for their upcoming offensive opponent.
“I’m doing everything in practice all the other guys are doing, just with fewer reps,” Osborne said.
Current quarterback Collier Winters ’12 attributes Osborne’s success to his dedication and gusto.
“He really led by example,” Winters said. “Every day he would show up and put everything into it.”
Over the summer, Osborne stayed in Cambridge to work out with Crimson strength coaches to prepare for the NFL, along with former players such as Zych and Marco Iannuzzi ’11.
The offensive lineman hopes in the future to move beyond the practice squad and earn a place on the team.
“I’m trying to get better every day, and in the future compete for a spot on the roster,” he said.
Harvard football coach Tim Murphy said that senior linebacker Blaise Deal would definitely miss tomorrow's home opener against Brown a week after taking a hit to the knee against Holy Cross last Saturday.
While it’s still not clear how long Deal will be out, it appears he will likely miss an extended period of time.
Deal—who also missed most of last season with a knee injury—tweeted in the hours after the game that “I don’t think I will ever play another sport as long as I live.”
A tweet two days later also seemed to indicate that a return might be unlikely: “Today was the first day in like 10 years that I've woken up and not been a football player.”
Captain Alex Gedeon, who is also Deal’s roommate, said that the senior linebacker has begun physical therapy and is working towards a recovery. But according to Gedeon, though Deal's loss is a significant one for the team, he remains an important presence for the Crimson.
“He’s been incredible," Gedeon said. "He just keeps a positive attitude ... He’s definitely one of the emotional leaders on the team, and to see how he’s handled this situation is inspiring.”
The team remains confident that it can fill the void that Deal leaves while he recovers from his injury. In addition to Gedeon and junior Bobby Schneider, two other starting linebackers, juniors Alex Norman and Josh Boyd—both of whom appeared in all 10 games last season—will play at the linebacker spot while Deal is out, according to Gedeon.
This weekend is a big one for Harvard football. I’m not just talking about normal-sized big, but football-player big.
On Friday, the Crimson takes on Brown in its first league game of the season. This game will be key in terms of gaining momentum and setting up an Ivy League title run.
But before we get to this matchup, here is a round-up of the events that led up to this weekend’s contests:
Last Saturday, Harvard opened its season against Holy Cross. Despite gaining a lead of 14-3 in the first quarter, the Crimson quickly gave the Crusaders a way back into the game. Covers were blown and Holy Cross completed several long-distance passes. After Holy Cross took the lead 17-14 after a one-yard touchdown run, the team never looked back, scoring 22 consecutive points to push the final score to 30-22. The Crusaders’ win was an upset, as preseason rankings showed Harvard to be on top. Whoops, my mistake, I meant these rankings.
The Crimson’s loss wasn’t the only shocker last weekend. Penn kept its status as the “Social Ivy” by making friends with Lafayette when the Quakers generously rolled over in a 37-12 Leopard blowout. Penn—the preseason favorite to win the Ivy League—blew its eight-game winning streak, losing to Lafayette’s backup quarterback.
While the Ivy’s two top-ranked teams lost several points of self-esteem, some of the lower-seeded squads came out ready to battle. Cornell, who tied with Princeton for the Ivy League's lowest rank, came from a 13-0 deficit to beat Bucknell, 24-13. Touchdown passes of 87 and 64 yards were key moments in the Big Red’s victory. Dartmouth also came out ready, as the Big Green crushed Colgate, 37-20. Dartmouth running back Nick Schwieger came up huge as he ran for two touchdowns and had a total of 175 yards.
Preseason middle-of-the-league teams Yale and Brown pulled out victories against Georgetown and Stony Brook, respectively, while Columbia lost to Fordham. As the Bulldogs handed the Hoyas their first loss of the season, they simultaneously forgot how to count to 100 as can be seen from this pie chart.
When the Bears came back from a 10-point deficit and beached the Seawolves, 21-20, in New York on Saturday night, they proved that they could win close ones. I guess they realized that they couldn’t count the game as pass/fail. Meanwhile, the commute across the River proved to be too much for the Lions who gave in, 21-14, to their newly-found cross water rivals.
Princeton also lost to Lehigh , 34-22—this was not much of a surprise, as the Tigers’ record last season came out to 1-9. They hope to rebound this weekend when the Ivy League season officially begins.